What's better - fellowship top 50 or TA top 5?

muons
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:22 pm

What's better - fellowship top 50 or TA top 5?

Postby muons » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:23 pm

My friend got offers from a lot of school and he's not sure which one would be a better choice:

Could someone rank the following in HEP experiments?

TA at Cornell
fellowship at Rutgers

More generally, what's a better option? TA at a prestigious school for 1-2 years or fellowship at a lower tier school for 1-2 years?
Last edited by muons on Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

highbounce
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Re: What's better - fellowship top 50 or TA top 5?

Postby highbounce » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:27 pm

I would take the TAship.

meggo
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:44 pm

Re: What's better - fellowship top 50 or TA top 5?

Postby meggo » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:31 pm

I'd take the TA too...also just because you have a fellowship doesn't mean you never have to teach. Some schools require every student to teach for at least one semester.

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grae313
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Re: What's better - fellowship top 50 or TA top 5?

Postby grae313 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:34 pm

How long is his fellowship for? A fellowship allows you to start doing research right away if you want to and gives you more flexibility in who you work for, as most professors will let you work in their lab if they don't have to pay you. If he has a research group in mind at Rutgers that he is really keen on joining and if that group is selective or tight on money, then there is a chance it might be worth it to take the fellowship. Otherwise, I think it's a no-brainer. Cornell is a great place to be :D

tiyusufaly
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Re: What's better - fellowship top 50 or TA top 5?

Postby tiyusufaly » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:56 pm

I'd choose Cornell, but not because it's a "no-brainer". I'd choose it because they have about three times as many people working in High Energy Experiment / Accelerator Physics as at Rutgers. You want as many active faculty members and research groups available as you can get. That is why I would choose Cornell.

Alexthephysicsmaster
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Re: What's better - fellowship top 50 or TA top 5?

Postby Alexthephysicsmaster » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:24 pm

Keep in mind, a fellowship just means more money for less work. Which is nice, of course! But it does NOT mean you will have any "edge" when it comes to choosing research, graduating, finding a job after graduation, etc. In fact, most fellowships expire after 1-5 years, at which point you'll just be a normal grad student.

In any case, after you graduate, your fellowship means absolutely nothing. So go by reputation! I would say you should *always* choose the school with the better reputation unless:

1) Your career plans don't require a "prestigious" Ph.D., ie you want to be a high school teacher
2) There is no real difference in reputation, both schools have similar rankings/opportunities
3) The more reputable school seems so miserable that you don't think you would do good work there (this is very rare, but sometimes comes up if your gf/bf would be in a different city, or you don't get offered financial support at one school, or something along those lines)

In short, TA at top 5, no brainer. Best of luck!




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